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Feature article


Ruckers Hill House

Ruckers Hill House is a new home for a family of five, located in Northcote and designed by Gardiner Architects. Due to the complex nature of the building’s construction and detailing, the architects called for expressions of interest during the sketch design phase, with the aim of choosing a builder who would be engaged and highly involved from early in the design process. The project gave the practice an opportunity to investigate issues of environmental design and its integration into – and impact on – a building’s form. The green roof undulates, allowing for the capturing of sunlight and specific views, and its northern side is equipped with solar panels. An earth pipe system, thermal chimney and operable vents at the extremities of the house regulate temperature and encourage fresh air movement.

Photographer_Rory Gardiner


Brompton Pavilion

Located on a former chicken farm in Cranbourne South, Craig Tan Architect’s Brompton Pavilion was a project initiated by the residential developers Wolfdene, in close collaboration with Oculus Landscape Architects and Clear Graphic Design. The pavilion functions as an information suite and a café (completed as part of stage 2) and is configured around a central grassed courtyard, with framed views of the surrounding fields.

External grey stained timber screens mirror the scale and colour of the neighbouring chicken sheds, while inside the pavilion, spotted gum decking, soffits and screens appear at more intimate points of interaction. Colourful accents that match the Brompton branding are used to enliven spaces within the pavilion, and then become visible through the external screen façade.

Photographer_Jaime Diaz-Berrio


Y Water Discovery Centre

The Y Water Discovery Centre in Yea is a community project designed by Zen Architects for the Murrindindi Shire Council and The Yea Wetlands Trust. Situated on what was once the local rubbish tip, the new building functions as visitor information and interpretive centres and a town meeting place.

The building was designed to suit the community it serves; straight forward, honest and welcoming. It was constructed by local builders using local materials and simple construction techniques. A shed-like galvanised iron structure is encircled by a timber screen. The screen acts as a landmark for passing visitors, and its raw eucalypt components reference and acknowledge the site’s history as an ancient gathering place of the Taungurung people.

Photographer_ Emma Cross



Kyabram District Hospital
CLOUD ARCHITECTURE STUDIO + ANTARTICAloud Architecture Studio + Antarctica

Cloud Architecture Studio and Antarctica have recently completed a renewal of the Kyabram District Hospital. Located 200km north of Melbourne, the hospital is not only the area’s primary health care facility but also functions as a place of real civic importance.

The new building replaces a run-down structure that was typical of country hospitals, and gives a regional population access to more efficient and up-to-date health care. Requiring careful planning and an “optimistic approach”, the project provided an opportunity for all involved to create a sense of place for the town, and a more positive experience for staff, patients and visitors. This is instantly reflected in the choice of materials. Plywood and bright colours on the interior create warmth; bold perforated metal signage and graphics brighten the new facility’s facades and welcome visitors.

Photographer_ Jeremy Wright


Bull House

The construction of a roofed deck by RaRa Architecture was the first and most critical moment in the renovation of this Olympic Village house in Bellfield. The clients, who completed most of the building work themselves, spend much of their time on the deck: using it while entertaining, or while tending to their garden, vegetable patch and chickens. Functioning as a versatile bridge between residence and backyard, the deck also shields the house from strong summer sun, while still allowing light to penetrate living areas in winter. The deck’s vertical structure extends past the roof; this ‘pillared space’ allows for the hanging of hammocks and creates a transition to the backyard area.

Photographer_PaulineLévêque Photography


Carbon Positive House

ArchiBlox calculated that over the course of its lifetime, their Carbon Positive House will be as environmentally beneficial as taking 307 cars off the road or planting 6,989 trees. Described by the practice as “the world’s first carbon-positive prefabricated modular home”, the portable structure is fitted with built-in furniture, a green roof, edible garden walls, and recycled water systems. A roof-mounted solar system also feeds excess energy back into the grid. To save energy, there is no mechanical heating or cooling in the house. Instead the main living rooms are protected on the northern facade by a sunroom buffer that helps to heat and cool the building. The building is made from sustainable materials and building components that reduce waste before, during, and after construction.

Photographer_Tom Ross